Hem is one of All Songs Considered's earliest discoveries. Back in 2002, we received a beautiful and unique album called Rabbit Songs. It was a homey, fireside kind of record, with a sound that could be called country or Americana, and the arrangements by Dan Messé made it feel quaint and warm. To top it off, there was singer Sally Ellyson, an untrained natural talent with an effortless yet breathtaking voice. Hem has gone on to make five more albums since Rabbit Songs; their latest, Departure and Farewell, finds the group still writing songs that feel as if they've always been there.
I'd never met any of Hem's members since we featured them on All Songs Considered (and All Things Considered) all those years ago, but they made a point to say that those NPR stories helped keep them making music together. In turn, I'm thankful for all the wonderful music they've made in that time — and hopeful that this Tiny Desk Concert helps you discover a new musical friend with an old, special sound.
- "Walking Past The Graveyard, Not Breathing"
- "Seven Angels"
Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Editor: Gabriella Garcia-Pardo; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Parker Miles Blohm, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Hayley Bartels; photo by Chloe Coleman/NPR